Conversion of a maltose-binding protein (MBP) into a zinc sensor. A computational program called Dezymer was used to predict locations where a zinc-binding site can be built in place of the original maltose-binding site. Previously, an optical signal was engineered into the MBP that couples maltose binding with changes in fluorescence. In the newly designed zinc receptor, the fluorescence function is successfully retained. In principle, this approach can be used to design sensors for a wide variety of target molecules.
Courtesy Jonathan Marvin and Homme Hellinga